You’ve kept your baby safe. You’ve kept him healthy. You’ve kept him clothed and warm. Is this the most important job you can ever have? Read on to find out who doesn’t think it is…
Saving lives. Running the world. Stopping crime. Raising a child. Which is the most important? And can we say one is more important than the other? Well, according to The Guardian’s Catherine Deveny being a mother doesn’t come out on top.
A recent poll by US magazine Parents is referenced, showing that 92% of people think that being a mother is the toughest job, but Catherine thinks it isn’t the most important.
‘If being a mother were a job you could resign from your job and get another one because you didn’t like the people you were working with.’
‘It's time to drop the slogan,’ Catherine writes in a frank piece on the newspaper’s website. ‘It encourages mothers to stay socially and financially hobbled, it alienates fathers and discourages other significant relationships between children and adults.’
Catherine doesn’t view being a mother as a job, but as a relationship. ‘If being a mother were a job there’d be a selection process, pay, holidays, a superior to report to, performance assessments, Friday drinks and you could resign from your job and get another one because you didn’t like the people you were working with,’ she writes.
In the article, Catherine battles with what makes a person a mother, saying, ‘Is it the actual birth? Or is a "mother" simply a term to describe an expectation to care for children without payment? Is this empty slogan used to compensate women for gouging holes from potential careers by spending years out of the workplace without recognition?.’
She also contemplates why the phrase ‘being a father is the most important job in the world’ is rarely heard.
And the subject of working mums is broached. ‘The more hours of drudgery you endure the more of a mother you are and, therefore, the more important your job is,’ says Catherine. ‘The more you outsource domestic labour and childcare to participate in the workforce, the less of a mother you are.’
Do you think of being a mum as a job? And do you think it’s more important than anything else? Share your thoughts below.